Fundamental Frequency and Sorbothane

February 02, 2015

Fundamental frequency can be defined most simply as the lowest frequency at which a system is able to vibrate freely. In physics, there is vibration that is fixed- as in the movement is only allowed in certain areas of a piece of machinery – and then there is free vibration, which can come from any angle or from any component. Vibration is typically used to describe up and down motions of any speed, however, when people think of vibration, it is very rapid movement that they are thinking about.

Vibration is often a requirement for certain actions to occur. For instance, when you are creating sounds of any kind, the vibration is important for the sound to be made and for it to be heard. The way we hear the sound depends on the way that it travels from its origination spot and to the ear. Vibration is also responsible for sounds that we do not want to hear as well, however. In some machines, excessive vibrations are usually the start of minor damage that can cause additional sounds from the motor. These sounds are usually the first signals that something catastrophic is about to happen. There are mechanics who can diagnose the problem with some machines just by the sound they are hearing when it is in motion.

Because fundamental frequency and vibration might be used interchangeably when discussing certain types of applications or components, it is important to know the path of normal movement exactly as well as the normal speed and energy output before trying to make any of the adjustments.

Controlling some of the vibration can sometimes be as simple as tightening a screw or bolt just a little bit, but that is not always the right answer. Some components are designed to move a little more freely, meaning that tightening the screw or bolt can cause even more damage or may prevent the component from moving correctly. If you cannot tighten the bolt to prevent the excess damage, designers often look for other ways of minimizing the damage that can occur.

For some components, changing the material they are made from can be enough, while for others it might be a change in the shape, the size or the way they are installed. When all of these fail, there is another option, which is to include Sorbothane into the design. Sorbothane is a special material, not quite a solid and not quite an elastic liquid but with properties of both types of material. It can be adjusted for any type of thickness and is useful for a number of different situations. It is often used in very complex motors where vibration control is crucial and is also used for more simplistic designs as well.

Sorbothane is frequently used in motors and other parts of machines, from huge helicopters to smaller, more delicate applications because it is adaptable, flexible and able to handle the shock of frequent vibration.

Interested in learning more about Sorbothane's solutions? Download our Standard Products Guide here.